Law of Hollywood Land

Entertainment Legal Bouts and Justice

American Idol Creators Suing Texas Gentleman’s Club for “Stripper Idol” Contest

The corporation FremantleMedia, who are the creators of the hit television show American Idol, are suing the owners of a Texas gentleman’s club for their amateur night competition they’ve dubbed “Stripper Idol”.

The the club’s website, Palazio Men’s Club plays on the singing competition reality show’s name in addition to altering the recognizable neon cursive script trademarked logo.

The lawsuit not only aims at stopping copyright infringement, but also seeks the profits derived from the club’s event for potential damage to the show’s image and fees for filing the suit in the first place.

Lampros, the club’s owner, says “I don’t feel they have any grounds to sue. This is just our way of enticing people to come out and have a good time and contribute to the economic crisis that is going on.”  There is currently no official word from the defense.

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December 19, 2008 Posted by | Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Lawsuit | , , , | Leave a comment

Football Star Vince Young in Trademark Dispute Over His Own Name

vince-young-lawsuit

Vince Young, who plays football for the Tennessee Titans, is currently in a copyright dispute over his nickname In-Vince-Able / Invinceable and his initials VY.  Turns out, a day after winning the 2006 Rose Bowl, both were trademarked by three astute entrepreneurs – one of which is former Astros baseball player Enos Cabell – and Young wants them back.

Young has filed the lawsuit primarily to get back the two trademarked terms, since Young can not currently use the terms with potential promotional deals including one with Reebok.

The defendants have yet to make any official statement on the lawsuit.

December 17, 2008 Posted by | Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Lawsuit, Sports Athlete | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

John Waters Sued For Song Use on Christmas Album

A John Waters Christmas

A John Waters Christmas

A federal lawsuit for copyright infringement has been issued against director and all-around awesome individual John Waters for the publication of the song “Santa Claus is a Black Man” on Waters’ CD A John Waters Christmas from 2004.

The plaintiff, Theodore Vann, claims he owns the song and that Waters had no right to release it on the CD. Vann goes on to say in his suit that he specifically denied Waters the rights to use the song because he is “odd and a fetishist”.

November 25, 2008 Posted by | Celebrity, Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Lawsuit, Musician | , , , , | Leave a comment

John McCain’s Lawyers Fight Back Against Jackson Browne’s Copyright Lawsuit

John McCain Fights Copyright Lawsuit

John McCain Fights Copyright Lawsuit

During the presidential election, a television ad ran in Ohio during the month of August in favor of John McCain used a snippet of Jackson Browne’s song “Running on Empty”, and Browne sued John McCain, the Republican National Committee and the Ohio Repubican Party for copyright infringement.

Now, McCain’s lawyers have struck back with legal filing including comments saying that “given the
political, non-commercial, public interest and transformative nature of the use of a long-ago published song, the miniscule amount used and the lack of any effect on the market [his] claims are barred by the fair use doctrine” and further that the “claim is barred as a matter of law because the Lanham Act does not apply to political speech.”

Should the court rule in McCain’s favor, it could establish a precedent which would make it much harder for songwriters to complain if/when political parties use their songs without permission.

November 20, 2008 Posted by | Celebrity, Copyright, Lawsuit, Politician | , , , | 2 Comments

Sarah Palin’s Wardrobe Defense Costs Consignment Store Their Name

When the story exploded that the RNC spent $150,000 on Sarah Palin’s wardrobe, Palin rebutted saying that her wardrobe comes from her favorite consignment store in Anchorage, Out of the Closet.

Well, it turns out that there is a non-profit chain of stores in California and Florida which is also called Out of the Closet.  When the AIDS Healthcare Foundation found out about the the AK store, the sent a copyright infringement cease and desist letter to the owner asking them to change their name.

Ellen Arvold, who owns the store in Anchorage, has said that she will comply and change the name.  No word if this has affected who she may vote for on November 4th.

October 31, 2008 Posted by | Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Politician | , , , , | Leave a comment

Bon Jovi Sued for $400 Billion (Yes Billion) for Allegedly Borrowing Lyrics

Jon Bon Jovi is being sued for allegedly borrowing lyrics from the song “(Man I Really) Love This Team”, the Boston Red Sox Anthem by a band called The Chelsea City Council.  Frontman Samuel Bartley Steele is seeking $400 Billion (thats $400,000,000,000 or over half of the Wall Street Bailout the Congress is working on) from Bon Jovi, who he says used his lyrics for the song “I Love This Town”.

Representatives for Bon Jovi and their and any other copyright protection lawyers that may need to get involved have stated they have yet to see the lawsuit.

October 13, 2008 Posted by | Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Lawsuit, Musician | , , , , | Leave a comment

Violation of Privacy Lawsuit Against Hustler Magazine Thrown Out

Chris Benoit and Nancy Benoit

Chris Benoit and Nancy Benoit

Remember a few years back how WWE wrestler Chris Benoit killed his wife Nancy Benoit and their son before committing suicide?  Well not ten months after those tragic events, first-amendment-loving Larry Flynt and Hustler magazine printed nude photos of Nancy Benoit that had been discovered, and her family sued the magazine for violation of privacy.

Today, the case was thrown out by a judge, who claimed that Hustler had the right the print the photos, though noting that the photos were “offensive and distasteful.”

Nancy’s family are still contemplating a wrongful death lawsuit against the WWE.

October 9, 2008 Posted by | Lawsuit | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Foo Fighters Demand McCain Campaign Stop Using Song… Could a Lawsuit Follow?

The Foo Fighters, led by guitarist Dave Grohl, are fuming at the McCain group for using their song “My Hero” at campaign rallies.  The campaign has not asked for permission from the band, management, publisher or record label.

The following statement was issued by the band:

“This isn’t the first time the McCain campaign has used a song without making any attempt to get approval or permission from the artist. It’s frustrating and infuriating that someone who claims to speak for the American people would repeatedly show such little respect for creativity and intellectual property. The saddest thing about this is that ‘My Hero’ was written as a celebration of the common man and his extraordinary potential. To have it appropriated without our knowledge and used in a manner that perverts the original sentiment of the lyric just tarnishes the song. We hope that the McCain campaign will do the right thing and stop using our song–and start asking artists’ permission in general!”

Could a potential intellectual property lawsuit be far behind? This is not the first time the McCain group has used music without an artists position. The were pumping Heart’s “Barracuda” when Palin was first announced.

October 8, 2008 Posted by | Copyright, Copyright Infringement | , , , , , | 1 Comment

Hannah Montana Co-Creator is Demanding His Royalties Percentage

Michael Poryes, co-creator of the Hannah Montana character which has brought in billions for Disney, says he is entitled to a percentage of the bank brought in by the books, movies and merchandise.

Poryes is suing using intellectual property law for almost $1 million dollars for compensatory damages, punitive damages, court costs and of course interest.

Disney at this time does not have any comment.

October 8, 2008 Posted by | Copyright, Copyright Infringement, Lawsuit | , , , , , | 2 Comments

Filmmakers of “Finding Rin Tin Tin” Sued for Copyright Violation by Dog Breeder

The original Rin Tin Tin

The original Rin Tin Tin

A little background information… Rin Tin Tin was a real German Shepherd dog who lived in the early 1900s.  His descendants became the stars of a TV series of the same name in the 1950s.  Afterward, another descendant of the same bloodline was given to a dog breeder to continue the breeding of German Shepherds and use the “Rin Tin Tin” name for promotional uses.

Now, a new movie entitled Finding Rin Tin Tin has been released on DVD, and the current owner of the dog breeding company Daphne Hereford has filed a lawsuit for copyright violation.  Hereford claims she has owns the copyright for the Rin Tin Tin moniker in regards to “live German Shepard puppies” and that this movie directly violates her copyright protection.

Hereford is suing the filmmakers First Look Studios for, among other things,  irreparable injury to her company, the studio’s profits from the movie, and wants all copies of the movie destroyed.

At this time, representatives for First Look Studios have not commented.

September 30, 2008 Posted by | Copyright, Copyright Infringement | , , , , | 1 Comment